Woods spent Monday night playing ping-pong against teammates, including Phil Mickelson, in the Americans' game room. He rates himself as a double-digit handicapper.
I know that at my freshman dorm I thought I was halfway decent because I could beat about anybody from high school. In my freshman dorm at Stanford I played the Polish National Champion ' I had no chance, Woods said.
Now he knows how most of the world feels on the golf course.
Woods played in his first ever round at The Belfry Tuesday morning. He was paired with good friend Mark Calcavecchia, and in the same group with Paul Azinger and Stewart Cink.
The golf course is in fantastic shape. The rough is up. The fairways are a lot narrower from what Ive been told it played in 93, he described.
Tigers group was the first of the American foursomes to play Tuesday, but they teed off just after the final European foursome.
Wanting to play at their own pace, Woods and company came from the third fairway and went straight to the eighth tee.
We play at a faster pace, plain and simple,' Woods said. 'I saw Bernhard (Langer) and the guys lining up putts on the third hole. We definitely don't do that, especially on a Tuesday. For me, I like to just take a look at the golf course, get a feel for it and I'm out of there.
'And there was no ill intent. There was no disrespect at all. We went on and played and we came back and we played those holes.'
After his round, Woods met the media for the first time since arriving on site Monday afternoon. He tried to explain the comments he made at last weeks event when he said he would rather win the $1 million first-place price at the World Golf Championships-American Express Championship (which he did) than win the Ryder Cup.
I was trying to be funny, he said. Obviously, things were taken way out of context. And thats what happens if you just read it. You say, Oh, my God, but if you actually saw me on videotape and how I said it, you would say, Oh, OK. I understand.
This is Woods third Cup appearance. Following a stellar amateur career that saw him win six straight U.S. Junior Amateur and U.S. Amateur Championships, he has compiled a surprising 3-6-1 record at the Ryder Cup.
Well, its just one of those things, Ive played well and Ive gotten beat in this thing and Ive played poorly and won matches, he said. This is a boat race for 18 holes. And guys with less experience can get hot.
Anything can happen. And its a lot of fun.
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